Palace issues guidelines on salary augmentation of BI workers

MANILA MalacaAang has released the implementing guidelines to augment the salary and overtime pay of the employees of the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea issued Memorandum Circular No. 24 which allows the use of express lane fees and charges to be collected by the BI to augment their personnel's salaries.

The memorandum order was signed by Medialdea on July 13 but was released to media on Tuesday (July 17).

Now, therefore, I, Salvador C. Medialdea, Executive Secretary, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby order: Section 1. Augmentation pay to BI personnel. The Department of Justice and the Department of Budget and Management shall adopt the following guidelines in the implementation of Special Provision No. 1 of the FY 2018 GAA as regards the use of express lane fees and charges to augment the salaries of BI personnel, Medialdea said in the memorandum.

Last year, President Rodrigo R. Duterte, in his veto message on the 2018 General Appropriations Act, allowed salary and overtime pay to be sourced from express lane fees.

According to the memorandum, express lane fees and charges collected by the BI shall be deposited in a Special Trust Fund Account with a government bank. The said collections shall comprise the 'Express Lane Fund (ELF).'

The ELF shall take effect immediately and shall continue to be effective until 31 December 2018 or until the passage of an Immigration Modernization Law or a law which would increase the base pay rates of BI personnel, whichever comes first, it further said.

Meanwhile, the ELF will be used exclusively for the following purposes: (a) 64 percent shall be used to augment the salaries of the BI's organic personnel who render services beyond regular office hours (b) 25 percent shall be used to pay for the salaries of the BI's contractual personnel, (c) the remaining 11 percent shall be remitted to the National Treasury as income of the General Fund.

Entitlement to augmentation pay will be given to organic personnel who render service from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday to Friday or the equivalent work hours for those working beyond 5:40 p.m. and/or Saturday, Sunday, and Holiday, with the BI rendering service continuously through the work day/period without lunch break.

The memorandum also stated that augmentation pay covering the months of January to May 2018 for the entitled organic personnel shall be immediately released.

It also stated that ELF collections in excess of the total augmentation pay requirements shall be remitted to the National Treasury.

To date, the Philippine Immigration Act has not been updated since its passage in 1940 and the basic monthly pay of BI employees has remained extremely low in spite of the nature of their work.

This caused a large number of resignations among BI employees which also caused prejudice to the efficient delivery of frontline services.

Congress has yet to pass an Immigration Modernization Law, which seeks, among others, to upgrade the current compensation system of the BI.

BI commissioner Jaime Morente earlier thanked Duterte for augmenting the BI employees' salaries. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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